FINAS wants quality Sabah documentaries

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) is looking for 15 documentaries on Sabah and Sarawak.

FINAS production director Mustazha Mustafa said at a documentary workshop held at a leading hotel near here yesterday that FINAS would want world class quality documentaries to be produced by industry players from the two states.

The theme for the documentaries is ‘Eye on Borneo.’

“We have had a lot of documentaries on the two states produced by companies from Peninsular Malaysia but this time around, we want to see Sabah viewed from the eyes of Sabahans. This is the best way to view the perspective of the locals,” he said.

Mustazha urged local directors to steer away from the topics that have been incorporated into previous documentaries numerous times in the past.

“Documentaries on the Bajau community, Mt Kinabalu, the Lepa-Lepa festival, Sipadan Island and so many others are among topics which have been heavily used. We would prefer something new,” he said.

He added that those interested could ask FINAS for the list of topics that have already been used in the past.

“Sabah is rich and there are so many untold stories unknown to us – matters that are related to traditions and cultures of the local folks, their cuisines and so many others. However, we urge that the stories to be documented to be true. Don’t make up stories that do not exist,” he said.

To ensure the topics selected are factual, the local producers will be required to produce their research on the items they intend to incorporate in the documentaries.

“We would also require endorsements – not from politicians, but key people who know about the authenticity of the topics to be covered. You can talk to academicians, the historians, the local practitioners,” he said.

The producers had been advised to abstain from researching for materials via the internet.

“We don’t want facts from the internet because they may not be correct,” he said.

The documentaries to be produced are categorised into culture, environment, community, wildlife, historical issues and mystical phenomenon.

“We don’t want general topics, educational and children programmes, magazine programmes such as tourism related and experimental videos,” he said.

Interested parties are to submit their proposal papers in two copies before June 24, 2011 to the FINAS branch here situated at Block A of KWSP building.

They can also call 088-233252 for more information.

Mustazha added that those selected for the ‘Eye on Borneo’ will each receive a financing of between RM30,000 and RM60,000 from FINAS to produce their documentaries.

The documentaries must be completed by this year end.